Tuesday, November 15, 2011


OK. I know this will seem a bit intense, but that would describe my personality. Please just put up with it.

I have occasionally described our cultural change to people without describing it as simply a different form of secular activity.

When I was a kid, mostly back in the '50s and '60s, our family was one of the most "secular" anyone could have imagined. When, within our home, foul language and violence and other horrific behavior occurred, it did NOT fit into our society. What helped me see the other side was school. The principals and teachers usually set the rules very clearly. For instance, I couldn't hit other kids and scream, which was common at home. I couldn't cuss or tell dirty jokes. I wouldn't be accepted when acting in that fashion.

I came to the Lord when I was 20. To that point, in 1966, my lifestyle was overwhelmingly crummy, and wasn't improving. Before my salvation, I didn't fit into the normal culture.

About 20 years later, with my kids in high school in our Omaha neighborhood, the opposite had already occurred. For instance, a new teacher, with his heart for the kids, trying to help someone in a hall fight, was struck. He quit teaching. Kids and their "rights" suddenly began to rise above the former attitude. Over those few years, when kids came down our street near the high and junior high schools, I could hear the screaming, fighting, and language... words even I wouldn't have said when young, and rarely heard in my house. When my kids and their friends were coming into our house my common instruction was, "Leave your street talk outside."

So, another twenty-plus years later, it's even more opposite from what it was when I was a kid and raising my kids. My present insistence to grandkids, among others is "No, you can't watch 'R-rated movies or TV shows" ..." or "No, you can't 'text' while we're talking to each other". When I'm walking through tough neighborhoods, I'm not at all afraid of seeing the gangs hanging out. What I AM afraid of is hearing the obscene language... and having it planted in my head, constantly needing help to have my brain cleansed.

So, this might not seem very technical or politically correct or well-defined. But, I've lived through those changes ... and am struggling when I think of what might be continuing to head our direction and keep us Christians constantly on our toes, looking around, hoping to help others grow in HIM. Only Him.

Started thinking this way through the Word project. Sure got my brain spinning.


a joyful noise said...

We do live in a secular world and yet as believer's we are not to become like the world in behavior. When I attended school, it was in another time. We sang Christian songs and celebrated Christmas. Even my children did not have it so bad in school. I agree that today’s world is not like yesterday, but we must be examples for our children and their children. You are doing a good thing by setting rules at least in your own home. Those who visit or live there will always remember what you are showing them by your good choices.

Zee said...

What scares me about cussing is that most people I hear on the street (and cussing is a second official language here, in Ukraine, it seems like sometimes) - they cuss, but they are not arguing... it's simply the way they talk. THAT is frightening. I wouldn't want my kids to grow up in such an atmosphere.

In my family, I don't think I've ever heard cussing. It just didn't feel necessary. Yeah, there were times of arguments, but never cussing. Guess my grandma raised all of us that way - and then coming to Church solidified her lessons. (My family came to Church only around '91 because before there was Soviet Union and communism...)

S. Etole said...

Obscenities seem to be the new mark of being "with it" as our generation would have said.

On a side note, just what is that that is exploding in your photo?

Cris Ferreira said...

It is always so refreshing to read a testimony about a life changed like yours.
And you're right, it's scary how things are getting worse, but more than ever we need to be the light of the world and keep faithful to our values.

Laura said...

It sounds like you have managed to cling to the Lord, despite all these changes you have seen. That is to be commended. And maybe there is more fruit still to come from the example you set.

As for my part, I hope you make it to Appalachia sometime. YOu are invited to dinner :)

Beth said...

I live it every day. It's gotten so that it's easier to ignore a cuss word in the hallway than to write the kid up. The hassle in write ups is more a burden to the teacher than the kid. You've made me think about some things I could insist on though. Thanks.